Fine Art/how do I...

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HI. I have a few questions. Perhaps you could recommend a reference book for me too. I have been collecting since I'm a kid, picking up things from NYC trash and scouring flea markets and garges sales wherever I went, I've always just bought what I like or rescued something I believe beautiful. I'm recently disabled so I'm not working, spending my time researching my items... I've picked up many may pieces of art, some obviously amateur and others look very professional but honestly I do not know anything about art. I am going to ask about two piecees of art I have...
I have a beautiful oil painting picked up at an estate it looks like it's signed R. Reit?se? How does one decipher signatures and how could I tell if this was done by a professional? Also this has a small stain on the top looks almost like a tiny cloud of coffee! Is there a way to clean this without damaging the painting?
Also I have a print or lithograph of Picasso Les Amoureux (the lovers) signed dated 1923 This was "rescued" from a dumpster here in the city. While researching I found a very damaged same print on ebay had sold for $500 so I figure I should take care of this one!! It is in pretty good condition but looks like it came from a smoking home is there a way to clean this? Also I thought it was on canvas but at closer inspection last night I noted that though it feels like canvas the back wood board shows the edges of this print and it seems like it's paper mounted on this wood ( I never took it out of the frame) What is this type of paper called? While I'm on Picasso can you possibly tell me if he ever worked with glass or if glass bottles with his geometric faces as stoppers were authorized by him (I have 3 bottles whose stoppers are definately copies of his geometric faces)I've tried to research these but still have never seen anything like these. thanks so much for any help or direction you can point me in. Have a great day
MaryAnn

Answer
As for the paiting, a professional restorer could remove the stain.  Not something for an amateur to try and I would not know how.  I wish there was a way to decipher signatures.  There isn't.  "Professional?"  That depends on the quality of the composition, the strokes, etc.  Of course, plenty of amateurs could be quite talented.

The Picasso sounds like a reproduction, since it is mounted paper.  I suspect its value is under $100.  I don't know what sold on Ebay.  Perhaps "buyer beware" would apply.  I tell people all the time not to buy art on Ebay unless they know what they are buying.  I think somebody might have been "taken" on that $500 sale.  Paper art can also be cleaned/restored, but only by experts, and I would not spend the money on the one you have.

Those faces on stoppers were not authorized by Picasso.  I don't mean to sound like a negative voice, just giving you honest answers to the perplexing questions in the world of art.  But you clearly like what you have, so enjoy.   

Alan.

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Alan Klevit

Expertise

I can provide sound advice on buying, collecting & understanding fine art, especially original works by 20th century masters and leading contemporary artists. I can also explain techniques used to create original works and offer tips on how to tell whether or not a piece is an original work of art.

Experience

I have been active in the art world for twenty-seven years. I owned and operated four galleries and a wholesale showroom on both coasts. We specialized in original works by 20th century masters and emerging artists. I have been an art consultant, artist's representative, lecturer, auctioneer, and curator. I had a radio show for two years, "Today's Art World with Alan Klevit" [Washington, D.C.]; hosted two television shows on the arts for six years [Los Angeles Area]; have written for numerous local papers and international art magazines; and currently write a syndicated column, "The Art Beat." I conduct art auctions for charities throughout the United States, and am a frequent speaker/auctioneer on upscale cruise ships, and at civic organizations and local television shows.







Publications
ART NEWS, ART IN AMERICA, FORECAST MAGAZINE, MALIBU MAGAZINE, PANTARBE.COM, MALIBU CHRONICLE, POTOMAC ALMANAC, GAITHERSBURG GAZETTE, ART DECOR, REGARDIES MAGAZINE.

Education/Credentials
Undergraduate and graduate degrees from Georgetown University and The American University

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